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Cherry Pop

Title - Naurora
Artist - Dewa Budjana

For those unaware, his band Gigi has been going strong for more than twenty five years now – packing out huge venues and selling millions of albums.

In an historical context, Dewa Budjana is unquestionably one of his nations well known, beloved musicians.

But Gigi represents a fraction of his musical persona. A master composer, arranger and producer, Budjana has, in just a few short years, amassed a masterful collection of progressive music albums as a solo artist – work which transcends genre, in glorious fashion.

He has recorded and performed with musicians such as Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, Antonio Sanchez, Ben williams, Joe Locke, Gary Husband, John Mc Laughlin, Vinnie Colaiuta, Jimmy Haslip, Jimmy Johnson, Mike Landau, Guthrie govan, Chad Wackerman, among others.

His last well received albums were Zentuary - released in 2016 on Steve Vais Favored Nations Label - and then came Mahandini - released in 2018 via Moonjune Records - and now Budjana brings us the magical Naurora (out June 30th, 2021 and, once again, on Moonjune Records).

1. Naurora (11:03)
2. Swarna Jingga (6:51)
3. Kmalasana (7:05)
4. Sabana Shanti (7:50)
5. Blue Mansion (7:48)

Being relatively new to this gifted guitarist/songwriter, I slipped the CD in, sat back and allowed myself to be transported to a whole other musical plane.

Which was not all that hard, as I had had a long day and so needed to get away from things and this album proved to be the most perfect of tools to use to do such a spiritual thing.

The title track opening of some building, at first, then soaring guitar rock and filled with a sweet, smooth jazz ensemble center is a pure delight to behold, and next up is the Hendrix-esque guitar work of the sweepingly magnificent Swarna Jingga, and then we get some, at first, laid back, lowbrow ambiance, which later escalates into the full blown rock/blues/jazz jam found within Kmalasana.

Some delicate jazz and fusion impressions, applied with strokes of delicate gossamer strains, that later turn to gently frenetic, layered key strands, next bring forth Sabana Shanti and then the album comes to a close, albeit all too soon, in my humble opinion, on the drum-led, funky, blended 70s jazz/rock/psych sounds of Blue Mansion.

Naurora is undoubtedly Budjana’s most ambitious work yet. Progressive, fresh, engaging, technically brilliant. Budjana’s tunes consistently clasp his listeners in a drape of gorgeous melodies, showpiece guitar parts and astounding ensemble passages that have a spacious air.

Naurora, has is an exhilarating mix of styles, it delivers a succession of memorable motifs. It melds East Asian music with progressive jazz fusion and some occasional elements of rock, but most of all it delivers an idiosyncratic sound that is instantaneously identifiable as Budjana’s own.

DEWA BUDJANA - guitars, soundscapes
BEN WILLIAMS - upright bass (Sabana Shanti)
CARLITOS DEL PUERTO - bass guitar & upright bass (Naurora, Kmalasana, Blue Mansion)
DAVE WECKL - drums (Swarna Jingga, Sabana Shanti)
GARY HUSBAND - piano, synth (Blue Mansion)
IMEE OOI - vocals (Naurora)
JIMMY JOHNSON - bass guitar (Swarna Jingga)
JOEY ALEXANDER - acoustic piano (Naurora, Sabana Shanti)
MATEUS ASATO - guitar intro & guitar solo (Swarna Jingga)
PAUL MCCANDLESS - soprano sax (Sabana Shanti)
SIMON PHILLIPS - drums (Naurora, Kmalasana, Blue Mansion)

Official Purchase Link

Dewa Budjana @ Facebook

Dewa Budjana @ Instagram

Dewa Budjana @ Twitter

Dewa Budjana @ YouTube